A Non-Consumer Photo Essay

by Katy on January 7, 2010 · 18 comments

This morning, I bragged to my husband and friend that “I have all the symptoms of a cold, but I’m not actually sick!” Which of course cemented that I would be completely overrun by viruses within a few short hours.

Yeah, I’m not so smart.

I am now bleary eyes, murky brained and should not be allowed to compose sentences. Instead of a regular column, I instead am running a first ever Non-Consumer photo essay. It is in no particular order and with only a vague theme of non-consumerism. So sit back, relax and enjoy the photo stylings of yours truly.

Here I am in the peak of health. Note the $15 antique desk, $12 antique alabaster lamp with $3 Goodwill lampshade. You don't even have to ask where I bought the T-shirt and skirt, because you already know!

My dining room includes a mission style oak table rescued from my mother's garage. My husband fashioned a "make it do" leaf from plywood that we use when we have guests. (We use a tablecloth.) The chairs are from an old Carnegie library. I bought 11 of them for $75. The piano was free from Craigslist, the chandelier was $35 from eBay. Note the untrimmed built-in buffet. We will finish this project at some point, but I can be patient and wait until we can do it right. We "made do" with mis-matched chairs for years before finding these ones. Patience is key.

Food waste is a sad event at my house. This photo was to illustrate the first "Waste No Food Challenge" column. I have since moved over to clear glass Pyrex food storage. Easy to see what I have lurking in the fridge, plus no plastic related chemicals to worry about.

My friend Sasha and I foraged the neighborhood for edible water chestnuts. I learned that I don't actually like roasted chestnuts.

I have an extremely shady yard, so I steal an extra bit of gardening opportunity by planting lettuce and radishes in an old wheelbarrow.

My brick patio with retaining wall. My baby sister built this from scavenged bricks and stone. I explained that I wanted a patio that had "hippie ethics without a hippie aesthetic."

Most expensive Christmas present ever! "Free" cats from Craigslist have cost us around $700 so far with vet care, immunizations and spaying. Good thing they're cute and fuzzy.

This dresser was given to me for free by a co-worker before my second son was born. Eleven somewhat battered years later, I sold it for $20. Not a bad investment.

Even though I look a quart short, I have this photo up on my locker at work. "It's the Depression and I'm lucky to have a job." is good to keep in mind.

The last photo is my ugly, yet loved pressure cooker. I accidently boiled the water from it a few months back which blew the valve to the ceiling and bowed out the bottom of the pan. It was as ugly as sin, but man did it cook dried beans in a jiffy. *Sob*

I hope you have enjoyed this departure from the normal style of this blog. (I know, I know, my photos pale by comparison to The Frugal Girl.) I will try and string together a sentence or two tomorrow.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl January 7, 2010 at 2:29 am

Ohh, that was fun! I love to look at pictures, and some of these were new to me (I don’t think I’ve ever seen your dining room or kitchen before!).

And just so you know, I love to look at pictures, period, so I totally think you should do photo posts more often. 🙂 Because, um, my opinion is the most important and all. lol


Linda January 7, 2010 at 4:08 am

I loved the pictures! Take care of yourself and get well soon!


Kathy January 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

Loved it! I agree with Kristen@TheFrugalGirl: do photo posts more often.


Shannon January 7, 2010 at 6:34 am

I agree on more pictures! I loved them. And I love seeing (or hearing about) the little things of people’s lives, like the much loved pressure cooker.

The least frugal thing I did was take in one stray dog and two stray cats over the course of the last 7 years. Expensive but they’ve more than paid for themselves. Who can put a price on furry love? 😉


BarbS January 7, 2010 at 6:41 am

Feel better, Katy!

It’s fun to see your house and surroundings. I quite enjoyed the photo-post, but not the reason for it. Get well soon.


Jacquelyn January 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

Very nice! I love the details on where you got stuff and how little you paid. Hope you feel better soon!


Lisa January 7, 2010 at 10:57 am

I’m sending healing thoughts your way! The photos were a great substitute for writing.


Diane January 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Hello.. I came over from “My Year Without Spending” and I am so glad I did! I am just starting my no-buy year, and I can use all of the help I can get, so I’ll be back often. I did my first post on the subject this morning. I’m really excited about this? Does that mean I’m weird? ☺


Lindy January 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I also love the photo’s!

I especially love the “I paid …..” type pics. Would love to see more of those.

Hope you feel better soon!


Kris-ND January 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I hope you feel better soon! Wow, I really love the purple in your dining room. I would never have picked that color, until now when I see it on your wall….may have to have my dh buy some purple paint soon 😉


magdalena January 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm

The found furniture looks great in your house. One good thing (besides price) about used/free furniture is that if you have to move and can’t take it with you, it hurts a lot less than if you are still making credit card payments on it!


Marie-Josée January 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Loved the picture essay, and the glimpse into your lovely home. Get well soon.


Jill January 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Oh, feel better soon, Katy! And I love your photos! Your dining room is lovely – terrific color!



Happy Mum January 8, 2010 at 3:49 am

Like the photos too. But I’m puzzling over your opener — what does it mean to have all the symptoms of a cold, but not be sick?


Jeanne Grunert January 8, 2010 at 4:57 am

This is so great! I love reading your blog, and now I can picture everything exactly. And it’s nice to see someone else with all sorts of treasures from goodwill. My office decorated with $10 Ebay prints, $90 new/salvaged executive desk, free lamp with $20 shade now seem extravagant by comparison. Feel better!!!


fairydust January 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Yeah, aren’t “free kittens” just great?! LOL! Loved the pics!!!


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares March 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm

The pressure cooker can be repaired by pounding on the bottom with a wooden mallet. An aluminum pan, even if it’s quite bowed, can almost always be fixed. Also, safety fuses are inexpensive to replace and easy to find. I have a similar Mirro pressure cooker and love it, too!


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